Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Unexpected Pleasures of Marketing

by Mar Preston
I thought I knew what marketing was before I published my two mysteries featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department. Something to do with hustling, standing on a street corner waving my book at traffic, grabbing the mic and chattering on about me, me, me.  The thought made me flinch.
Instead I discovered a more pleasant reality. In the year following the publication of the first one, No Dice, I went to conferences, among them Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. I had worked up an elevator speech about my books but, hey, nobody asked me. There were pleasant moments, yes, but I felt as though I was at a high school reunion where everyone knew each other and I hadn’t graduated yet.
Eventually I was invited to chair a couple of panels. The purpose of the moderator is to showcase the panelists and that I was comfortable doing. And it gave me something to blog about.
I’m more comfortable behind a keyboard than making small talk and sneaking in a mention of my books.  Thus I began reading an ever-increasing list of mystery blogs with useful, interesting information—like this one. Every post that interested me I commented on. This led to an email exchange with the author.
I bought a lot of books, admittedly many of them on Kindle. I reviewed them. Another pleasant exchange with authors began. Those contacts gave me something else to blog about.
What I liked best was book fairs, talks, meetings with readers who showed interest in my work.  Some of them asked goofy questions and went on long tangents gushing about a character or event in my books.  However, when I actually met an author I admired, I went on a long stupid story of my own and—gushed.  I shudder when I think about it, but T.Jefferson Park is probably used to it.
I like people who write mysteries. They’re kinky too. They wonder what would happen if that red-headed man over there walking two Chihuahuas suddenly fell to the sidewalk, a bullet in his temple—just like I do.
 Rip Off Blurb:
High-tech burglary and murder are bad for business in the upscale, tourist-destination beach city of Santa Monica with its leftist politics, rich homeowners, and huge homeless population.
Bad for Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department.

A deadbeat burglar has been found in the upscale Santa Monica beach condo of a playboy studio exec. The dead body must link up with a string of high-tech burglaries, and the Chechens Mason keeps meeting must link up with each other somehow, but how?

The investigation leads him into the dark world of embezzlement, an explosion that almost kills him, a bungled FBI take down, and a resolution that leaves his relationship with the woman he loves teetering on the edge.
Mar Preston and Lily
Mar Preston's Bio:
 
I grew up in northern Ontario and love its lakes and forests. But I lived in Santa Monica for decades watching big money, land development, and politics clash.
Getting a good murder mystery novel out of what goes on behind the scenes in grassroots politics, glitzy businesses, and developer skullduggery makes all those dreary Santa Monica city council meetings worthwhile.
I live now in a village in the California mountains not that far from the edge of the Los Angeles sprawl. There's too much to do here: I'm writing crime fiction seriously, but I can't get away from the SPCA, local environmental politics, and the writing community.
Life is good.
Author’s website: http://marpreston.com/
 From Marilyn: Thank you for visiting today, Mar. And I like interaction with readers the best too.

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